Author Archives: George Simmers

After many years as a teacher, I retired and began researching for a Ph.D. on the fiction of the Great War – especially the books, stories and plays that were written during the War or immediately afterwards.

Prime Minister versus Parliament

We currently have a Prime Minister openly at war with most of his Parliament, a situation without precedent in modern British politics. For parallels we need to look abroad, and I’ve recently been reading about Austria in 1916, when the Prime Minister, Count von Stürgkh declared a state of emergency in order to divest the […]

Sinclair Lewis

Writing about Zane Grey the other week, I asked if other writers had dealt with the situation of German-Americans during the Great War. Sally Perry kindly pointed me towards the 1916 story ‘He Loved His Country’ by Sinclair Lewis. I therefore got hold of The Minnesota Stories of Sinclair Lewis (edited, as it happens, by […]

Which Allatini to read?

Since publishing Rose Allatini:A Woman Writer, I’ve been asked by a few people – which Rose Allatini should they read first? The obvious answer is Despised and Rejected (1918), since it’s both in print and a novel of historical significance. Certainly, that’s the right answer for anyone researching the Great War. Yet Despised and Rejected, […]

Zane Grey’s The Desert of Wheat (1919)

Last week I posted rather sceptically about the splurge of moralistic emotion that is Zane Grey’s The Day of the Beast. I said I wouldn’t be reading any more Grey for a while, but then I took a look at his The Desert of Wheat, and I was hooked right away. It’s a much better […]

Zane Grey’s ‘The Day of the Beast’ (1922)

Zane Grey is, of course, very well known as an author of Westerns, but in The Day of the Beast (1922) he deserts the romance of Old West for a topical theme and a deliberately unromantic and stereotypically modern setting: Middleville […] a prosperous and thriving inland town of twenty thousand inhabitants, identical with many […]

Playing with FaceApp

What kind of poet would Wilfred Owen have become had he survived the war? It’s one of the unanswerable questions that it’s fun to occasionally consider. It happened to be in the back of my mind when I was playing with the silly but clever little computer program, FaceApp, which takes any photo portrait and […]

Rose Allatini – A Woman Writer

Read a sample of the book by clicking here. My monograph on Rose Allatini is now properly published and on sale. It is the first book to examine the full career of the author of the 1918 novel Despised and Rejected. It considers her whole output, over seven decades (and under several pseudonyms) and questions […]

Firestep to Fokker Fodder

Not many comprehensive schools possess chapels, but Magdalen College School Brackley, where I taught English for over thirty years, inherited one from the grammar school from which it took over in 1973. During chilly assemblies in the chapel, my attention often wandered to some wooden crosses on the wall. These are ex-students’ crosses from First […]

Rose Allatini in Hampstead

This is a supplement to a post from last year, in which I described my wanderings round West London, looking at houses where Rose Allatini lived. Recently, I happened to be in Hampstead, so took the opportunity to look at 142 Fellows Road, the house where Rose Allatini was living at the time when her […]

Writing about Rose

For the past year I’ve been writing about Rose Allatini, and the book is nearly ready for publication. It should be available to buy by the start of June. I’ve called it Rose Allatini: A Woman Writer. Why? Because Olive, the novelist heroine of …Happy Ever After, her first book, declared: ‘I want to be […]